Oscar Clarke recovering, PM Hinds visits
Prime Minister Samuel Hinds yesterday visited Peoples National Congress Reform (PNCR) General Secretary Oscar Clarke at the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation (GPHC) where he is said to be recovering well after sustaining three gunshot wounds during Tuesday’s invasion of his home.
The GPHC yesterday said that Clarke was yesterday able to sit eat, move about and even do a bit of walking. Linda Clarke, the man’s wife, shared with Stabroek News that doctors had encouraged Clarke to maintain as much mobility as was possible. This she said was due to the fact that they feared the still lodged bullet would become harder to remove if he became immobile.
The man’s wife was elated at the news of his improved condition. Linda said that after the ordeal, the doctors at the hospital decided to run tests on her. She said that her blood pressure that night was 200 over 100. She said that her condition has stabilized partially because of the medication given to her, but largely due to the fact that her husband was making a quick recovery.
According to a GINA release, Clarke, who considers himself a lucky survivor, recounted his near death experience to Hinds and showed him the lacerations he suffered to his head after he was repeatedly gun-butted by one of the two bandits. Clarke also showed Hinds the gunshot wound he suffered after he attempted to fend off the intruders.
Clarke told Hinds, who is performing the functions of President, that he had attempted to reason with his assailants, and tried to ascertain the motive for the robbery, even as they continuously bludgeoned his head in what he perceived as an attempt to render him unconscious.
“I’m a fighter, they couldn’t knock me out”, Clarke told Hinds who commended him for his courage and wished him a speedy recovery. Clarke’s “stamina” was also commended by supporters who showed up at the GPHC after word spread of the incident. One man said “duh man suh old and he still kicking after fighting and tekkin a whole three, he is something else.”
The release said that Clarke was very satisfied with his treatment at GPHC. He told Hinds “I think things went very well here (GPHC)…I think they were well organized. When I got in here all the requisite people were here.”
Pre-emptive surgery preparations which were made for Clarke were not needed since x-rays of his injuries ruled out the need for such, since none of his internal organs was hit.
Clarke told Hinds that he believes it is his belief in prayer and the fact that “his time didn’t come,” which preserved his life.
A visit to Clarke’s residence last evening revealed an atmosphere of relief as several family members congregated in the front yard.
Linda, who had just returned home from visiting her husband, was even smiling as she recounted Tuesday night’s ordeal.
On Tuesday night, Linda had said that four men had walked through her gate “like they owned the place” and attempted to enter the house. The woman said that she was at the time in the yard speaking to her daughter-in-law, Apphia Lyte.
She said that she eventually noticed that one of the men had a “long” gun tucked at his side. She said that the man raised the weapon and shouted “police.” She said that this caused Apphia to run up the stairs. Linda said that the man then pointed the weapon at Apphia and said “stop, stop moving now.”
Out of fear for the woman’s life Linda said she then pleaded with the woman to stop running. She said that she does not know what happened next because another of the men held her and told her to go inside the house. She said that as she was making her way to the door the man kept pushing her and saying “go inside.”
She said that she turned to the man and told him “alright alright, I’m going inside.” It was at this point that the man dealt Linda a slap across her face.
Linda said that once inside she was made to lie face down in the living room, as the man who brought her into the house stood above her. From her place on the floor she said she heard Oscar scuffling with the two men who entered the house before her. She said that she eventually heard two gunshots, and then heard Oscar crying out “Linda! Linda! Linda.”
Linda said that while she wanted to assist her husband she dared not move, for fear of being shot herself.
Linda said that after about five minutes of lying face down, she noticed that all sounds had ceased, and the man who was standing above her was no longer there. She also noticed that Clarke had stopped calling out to her. “When I realize that I was not hearing his voice I seh ow lawd like they kill Oscar.” The woman said that when she got to the bedroom door she found it locked. She said that she began looking for the key which she did not find. She then kicked the door several times until it eventually opened. “I thought it was my strength that opened the door, but Oscar told me that he recognized my voice and opened the door.” Oscar was kneeling in front of the door when she walked in.
The woman said that when she realized that it was all over, she ran out onto the street and started screaming. This prompted several neighbors to come over. She would later learn that the gunmen had also assaulted her son, 38 year old Derwyn Lyte, and relieved him and his wife Apphia of an undisclosed sum of money as well as rings each of them was wearing.
Oscar was rushed to the St Joseph Mercy Hospital but was later transferred to the GPHC.
As the news of the shooting spread, concerned citizens began to pour into the hospital to wait for word on Clarke’s condition. Also present were several PNCR members including PNCR and Opposition Leader David Granger, Basil Williams, Volda Lawrence and Deborah Backer.
Granger had stated that he was very concerned about the shooting, but said that he was optimistic that Clarke would make a recovery.
Linda said that a resident subsequently told her that one of the bandits had fired a shot at one of her neighbours who was arguing with them. She said that the woman had heard the gunshots but thought that someone was lighting squibs. The neighbour said that the woman started to argue with one of the assailants who was on the road, who retaliated with a single shot in the direction of her home.
Linda also said that residents had told her that the four men were seen in the area hours prior to the robbery.